Yep, it is here. It has arrived. The most stressful part of the semester. Everything is happening all at once. If you’re anything like me you have more than just school to worry about. Your lease may be ending which means packing up and moving out, you have more than one paper left to write, an exam in every class, some of your closest friends may be graduating, finding a job for the summer is close to impossible, and that summer vacation you’re trying to plan is so close, but so far away. As we near what seems to be impending doom, I want to encourage you to remain hopeful and most importantly faithful. God has given us a multitude of promises for when life gets hard and overwhelming; in this case when we feel like we may not make it through the next week and a half.
1. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. You have done this before. All of it. You’ve done a group project, you’ve written a paper, you’ve taken a test, you got it! And if you still don’t think there is hope, remain faithful in God’s promise to protect us and get us through.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” PSALM 46:1-3
2. Don’t lose sight of what is really important. Remember in times of serious stress and fear of failure, there are more important things than getting an ‘A’. In the midst of your messy life take time to spend with Him and you will find comfort. When the week gets too hard, run into the arms of Jesus.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” JOHN 15:4-5
3. Take care of yourself. Don’t forget to eat and sleep (and shower). Though it is really important to study, you cannot preform your best without fulfilling basic needs. We cannot forget how important it is to take care of ourselves.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20
4. Take a break. Every once in a while it is okay to take a break and spend some time with friends. They are going through finals too, be there for each other, take your mind off of things for an hour or two. It may seem impossible, but take a little time to just simply laugh with each other and build each other up.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” MATTHEW 11:28
5. Do not worry. Stop worrying about whether or not you will get it all done and place your trust in Jesus.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” PHILLIPIANS 4:6-7
6. Work hard. Put in your best work, do what you can, and glorify God every step of the way. Whether you are passing or failing there is a plan for you and the grades you receive do not define you.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” PROVERBS 16:3
7. Rest in the presence of God. I know, you are exhausted, so am I. But we have a place to rest and when we cannot rest, place your hope and faith in Jesus and your strength will be renewed.
“Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ISAIAH 40:30-31
8. God will bring you through everything. Check your focus. Remember you have people cheering for you and you have Jesus when your friends or family go to sleep. We have a permanent right hand man and there is no one who could be better. He is with you at 12 pm and He is with you at 4 am when you are stuck in the library writing that paper, He has your back. Don’t forget that.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at right hand, I will not be shaken.” PSALM 16:8
9. Remember why you are here. It is all part of the plan. Find your purpose in God, ask for His help and guidance. He will take away your worries and you will rise above it all.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in day time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 1 PETER 5:6-7
10. If you feel like you can’t, God can. And in the hours before your final exam and there is only one test or paper standing in the way of your summer and freedom, rely on God to get you through it.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” JEREMIAH 32:27
In this time of never-ending stress, we have a God who loves us and remains faithful to us. I hope these truths resonate within you. You can make it through the next week and a half. Have faith, believe in yourself, work hard, and finish strong. You can do it.